The College Housewife » Recipes » savory » Spicy Pumpkin Soup

Spicy Pumpkin Soup

This Spicy Pumpkin Soup is lusciously creamy with warm, savory flavor and kick of heat, then topped with the ultimate (and adorable) grilled cheese croutons!

It’s healthy, colorful and one of the best soup recipes for the fall season.

creamy pumpkin soup recipe in white bowl topped with grilled cheese croutons and fresh thyme

It’s that time of year again – pumpkin season!

There are SO many pumpkin dessert recipes out there like Pumpkin Spice French Toast, Pumpkin Spice Tiramisu Trifles, Pumpkin Loaf with Brown Butter Buttercream, Nutella Filled Pumpkin Cookies, and Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Scones. Which is why I love finding a way to switch things up with something savory.

This pumpkin soup is basically the fall take on tomato soup and grilled cheese, but with TONS of flavor from spices both warm and spicy! It makes a complete, one-pot, vegetarian meal that is both comforting and classic.

My mouth is watering just talking about this soup. I can’t wait for you to try – it’s definitely a keeper!

Ingredients

I love that this soup still feels like soup and isn’t too sweet. And a lot of that comes from the aromatic ingredients, spices and the incredible grilled cheese croutons.

For the pumpkin soup, you will need olive oil, onions, carrots, garlic, pumpkin puree, fresh thyme, kosher salt, cracked black pepper, cumin, ginger, nutmeg, cayenne, maple syrup, vegetable broth and heavy cream.

For the grilled cheese croutons, simply gather together sourdough bread, butter and cheddar cheese.

vegetable broth box, heavy cream pint, fresh thyme, onion, carrots, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, butter, ground spices, olive oil

Pumpkin Puree. Make sure to purchase pure pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling (sweetened with sugar and spices). You can, of course, use fresh pumpkin puree, but we’ll talk about that more in a bit.

Cayenne. This really adds that kick of spicy heat! Add more or less than what the recipe calls for depending on your preferred spice level.

Heavy Cream. Optional, but highly recommended! This adds that final touch of decadence and creamy texture.

Grilled Cheese Croutons. You heard that right! These adorable little guys add a hearty, savory, delicious soup topper. I used sourdough bread and cheddar cheese, but use your favorite bread-and-cheese combo.

How to make spicy pumpkin soup recipe

This recipe comes in two parts – the soup and the croutons. I like to prep and puree the soup first. Then, while it’s simmering on the stove, I quickly assemble and cook the grilled cheese croutons. Cut into ooey-gooey squares and you have a showstopping meal in no time!

step by step grid photo of making pumpkin soup in Dutch oven and cubed grilled cheese croutons

Pumpkin Soup:

  1. Saute aromatics. In a large dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  2. Stir in pumpkin and spices. Add the pumpkin, thyme, salt, black pepper, cumin, ginger, nutmeg and cayenne. Cook over medium-low heat for an additional 3-4 minutes. 
  3. Add the broth. Add the vegetable broth and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently. 
  4. Sweeten it up and puree. Stir in the maple syrup. If a smoother texture soup is desired, transfer to a blender or Vitamix. Puree until it reaches your desired consistency. Return the puree back to the dutch oven and check for seasoning.
  5. Make it creamy. If a creamier texture is desired, add in 1 tablespoon of heavy cream at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
  6. Finish and serve! Garnish with grilled cheese croutons (see steps below), extra cream and flakey sea salt, if desired.

Grilled Cheese Croutons:

  1. Assemble. Butter two slices of sourdough bread on each side. Add in two slices of cheddar cheese (or your choice of cheese).
  2. Melt. Heat a medium cast-iron skillet over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add in grilled cheese. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
  3. Cut into squares! Slice grilled cheese up into small square portions for ‘croutons’.

creamy pumpkin soup recipe in two white bowls with grilled cheese croutons

How to use fresh pumpkin

Small sugar pie pumpkins pop up in supermarkets and farmer’s markets throughout the fall season. If you’re lucky, grab one small one and follow the steps below:

  1. Remove the stems and slice into quarters (or eighths). Scoop out the seeds and reserve, if desired.
  2. Peel the pumpkin and cut the pumpkin flesh into roughly 1-inch cubes.
  3. Add to the Dutch oven when you add the onions, carrots and garlic. Then, follow the recipe as written.
  4. Once you add the vegetable broth, bring up to a boil and then reduce to simmer, cover slightly and cook for 30 minutes, or until the pumpkin is tender.
  5. Puree as instructed with a blender, Vitamix or immersion blender.

Serving & storage instructions

My favorite way to serve this easy pumpkin soup is in a large bowl with a pile of freshly made croutons, a final drizzle of cream and a sprinkle of flaked sea salt.

Plus, the soup tastes even better the next day as the ingredients have time to marry. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Simply reheat over medium heat, while stirring occasionally, until hot and bubbly.

I do recommend making the croutons the day you are going to serve, however. The croutons tend to get too greasy after a day or two.

hand stirring spoon in bowl of spicy pumpkin soup with grilled cheese croutons

Variations:

  • Coconut Milk: Replace the heavy cream with an equal amount of coconut milk. Plant-based, rich and completely Vegan!
  • Curry: Omit the cumin, ginger and nutmeg and add 1 ½ teaspoons curry powder instead.
  • Butternut Squash: Replace the pumpkin puree with one (15-ounce) can of butternut squash puree.

Recipe tips:

  • Blend to your desired consistency. Use a regular blender, Vitamix or handy immersion blender. As always, take extra caution when blending hot liquids. I remove the cap from the blender lid and tent it with a clean kitchen towel to allow steam to release while blending.
  • Double the recipe. This pumpkin soup is a wonderful, meal prepped lunch throughout the week. Easily double the recipe. Store half in the fridge and freeze the other half for up to 1 month.
  • Make the croutons fresh every time. Soups store beautifully, but the croutons do not. Simply make the croutons fresh on the stovetop while you reheat the leftover soup to enjoy.

best pumpkin soup recipe in white bowl topped with grilled cheese croutons

More healthy veggie soup recipes you’ll love!

If you make this Spicy Pumpkin Soup recipe, be sure to tag me on Pinterest and Instagram!

I seriously love seeing what you guys are making and sharing your creations with the College Housewife community!

Print
creamy pumpkin soup recipe in white bowl topped with grilled cheese croutons and fresh thyme

Spicy Pumpkin Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

  • Author: Elizabeth Van Lierde
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 bowls 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This Spicy Pumpkin Soup is lusciously creamy with warm, savory flavor and kick of heat, then topped with the ultimate and adorable grilled cheese croutons!


Scale

Ingredients

For pumpkin soup:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 yellow onion, diced

2 large carrots, peeled and diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon cracked black pepper

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more or less depending on your spicy level)

2 cups vegetable broth

2 tablespoons maple syrup

¼ cup heavy cream, optional, plus more for serving

grilled cheese croutons, recipe follows

flakey sea salt, such as Maldon

For grilled cheese croutons:

2 tablespoons butter

2 slices sourdough bread

2 slices cheddar cheese


Instructions

To make pumpkin soup:

  1. In a large dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add the pumpkin, thyme, salt, black pepper, cumin, ginger, nutmeg and cayenne. Cook over medium-low heat for an additional 3-4 minutes. 
  3. Add the vegetable broth and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently. 
  4. Stir in the maple syrup. If a smoother texture soup is desired, transfer to a blender or Vitamix. Puree until it reaches your desired consistency. Return the puree back to the dutch oven and check for seasoning.
  5. If a creamier texture is desired, add in 1 tablespoon of heavy cream at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
  6. Garnish with grilled cheese croutons, extra cream and flakey sea salt, if desired.

To make grilled cheese croutons:

  1. Butter two slices of sourdough bread on each side. Add in two slices of cheddar cheese (or your choice of cheese).
  2. Heat a medium cast-iron skillet over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add in grilled cheese. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
  3. Slice grilled cheese up into small square portions for ‘croutons’.

Notes

Store the soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Make the croutons fresh on the day you are going to serve.

Nutrition info is based on 4 servings.

Keywords: fall squash, cheesy croutons, puree

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *